After Receiving Your Result
- Unsure, concerned or unhappy with any marks? Contact your School Office/lecturers to request detailed feedback and further discussion to help you understand your marks and how to improve in the future.
- Spoken to your School and still not satisfied? If you have evidence of any errors made by the University that affected your assessment or result(s) and/or you experienced exceptional circumstances that affected you at the time of the assessments you could consider an appeal.
Before deciding to appeal
- You thought you would, or should, have achieved a better mark or award.
- You disagree with the academic judgment of the marker.
- You mistakenly submitted the wrong piece of work or an unfinished draft.
- There is no automatic right to a remarking of your work and you cannot be awarded ‘extra’ marks you are not considered to have earned academically.
- For concerns about assessment outcomes that have not yet been approved by a Board of Examiners you should seek advice in the first instance from your College, Personal Tutor or module leader.
- The University won’t accept appeals solely on the basis that a student is unhappy with their marks or disagrees with the academic judgement of the marker i.e. if you feel that you should have received a higher mark. This is because the marker is considered to be academically better placed to determine the marks awarded for a piece of work.
- The University has a ‘Fit to Sit’ Policy which means if you have attended an exam it is considered as a declaration that you were fit enough to sit the exam. On this basis, the mark you received will usually stand regardless of your circumstances at the time.
Informal Stage - Early Resolution
Students are expected to raise any concerns or exceptional circumstances promptly by the published deadlines on the university's EC webpage. The exceptional circumstances procedure is available to all students here.
If you wish to raise a concern or make an academic appeal application, You should first take steps to resolve the matter with an appropriate staff member (for example, your module leader/personal tutor or supervisor).
It is not possible to challenge academic decisions relating to marks, progression or awards but you are given the opportunity to seek clarification and/or feedback in relation to these decisions.
Any general issues relating to Programmes may be addressed through the Course Representative system whereby you can notify your Course Representative of any issues (e.g. dissatisfaction with resources/equipment/teaching), and these issues can then be raised at the Student Staff Committees.
If you are then satisfied by the outcome of early resolution the matter will be considered resolved.
If you do not consider your concern has been resolved, they may consider submitting an academic appeal under the formal stages.
The Formal Stage - Academic Appeals Procedure
When can I appeal and when is the deadline?
You will not be eligible to submit an appeal until your results have been formally agreed by the Exam Board and they have published your formal transcript/results on MAP.
Any appeal must be submitted to the University no later than 14 calendar days (including weekends and public and University holidays) from after the student's Exam Board decision has been released on MAP (My Aston Portal).
If you are unsure of your appeal deadline, contact your School Office.
What are the allowed grounds for appeal?
In order for your appeal to be considered by the University, you must demonstrate in detail how your circumstances meet one or more of the grounds of appeal below:
- That there has been an administrative error or that some other material irregularity relevant to the assessments has occurred.
- That the assessment procedure and/or examinations were not conducted in accordance with the approved regulations.
- That the student’s performance was adversely affected by illness or other specific factors which they were unable for valid reasons to submit to the Board of Examiners before it reached its decision.
(It will be very difficult to appeal under ground (c) as all students are required to bring exceptional circumstances to the prior attention of the Board of Examiners (in line with the Exceptional Circumstances Procedure), and accordingly, evidence would be required that there were very good reasons for failing to notify the Board of Examiners of any factors affecting their work e.g. a medical condition diagnosed after the meeting of the Board*.
The burden of proof is on you the student to prove with evidence how your appeal meets one or more of the grounds listed above. If you are unsure if you are likely to meet the grounds please contact us for advice.
*If a student is suspected of submitting either a fraudulent claim for exceptional circumstances, or falsifying evidence to support a claim for exceptional circumstances, the case will be referred to the University Discipline Officer. If the case is found to be proven, an agreed penalty will be applied by the Disciplinary Board and the claim for exceptional circumstances will not be accepted. If third party evidence is suspected to be fraudulent the University may contact the provider to validate the evidence.
Completing the appeal form
The appeal form can be found on the University’s website and downloaded below. You will need to explain what grounds of appeal you believe apply in your case.
For ground (a) you must explain using specific examples what administrative error or material irregularity occurred and how it is relevant to your assessment. You would also need to explain why you believe this had a significant impact on your assessment.
For ground (b) you must explain how the assessment procedure and/or examination was not conducted in accordance with the regulations.
For ground (c)
- You must explain exceptional circumstances that affected your performance and they must be relevant to when the assessment(s) took place.
- You must also explain why you were unable for reasons out of your control to inform your Exam Board at the time by submitting an exceptional circumstances form. This is important because an appeal under ground (c) will not be considered without a valid reason why you were unable for reasons out of your control to have informed the Exam Board of your circumstances in line with the Exceptional Circumstances Procedure.
What Evidence Do I Need?
You must attach any relevant evidence to support your appeal.
For grounds (a) and (b) this could be documentation such as emails that refer to errors/irregularities that affected your assessments.
For ground (c)
- You must provide evidence of your exceptional circumstances which must confirm your circumstances, how they affected you and your studies and it should also include the period of time you were affected. It may help to think how your ability to study, prepare and complete your assessment(s) was affected.
- You must also provide evidence that confirms why you were unable for reasons out of your control to submit an EC form or inform the Exam Board of your circumstances earlier.
The burden of proof is on you to demonstrate with evidence that you meet one of more grounds of appeal.
If you can’t obtain evidence before the appeal deadline, you must still submit the appeal on time and explain why you were unable to provide evidence and when you expect you will be able to so if possible. Appeals submitted without evidence are unlikely to be accepted.
Submitting your appeal form
You must submit a completed appeal form with evidence to email@example.com (Write Academic Appeal AND your student number in the email subject box). This must be done within the 14 day deadline mentioned above. Late appeals will not usually be considered by the University.
What happens after submitting your appeal?
Formal Stage 1 - Initial consideration of academic appeal application
The Head of Academic Services will initially consider your written submission to ensure your application meets the allowable grounds and that the appeal has been made by the 14 day deadline. You’ll be informed in writing if there are not appropriate grounds to progress the appeal to Formal Stage 2 with the reason(s) why. This concludes Formal Stage 1 of the Academic Appeal Procedure.
Formal Stage 2 - Academic Appeal Resolution
If it is decided there may be valid grounds and an appeal can be resolved by the Head of Academic Services in conjunction with the Chair of the Board of Examiners and any other appropriate persons, then appropriate action will be taken provided that it is in accordance with the current University regulations.
The Chair of the Board of Examiners may
- take Chair’s action in line with the exam board procedures in changing the original decision of the Board
- agree to put new evidence to the full Board, without the need to hold a meeting of the Academic Appeals Committee.
?In such cases, you will be informed in writing of the outcome by the Head of Academic Services. Responses will be sent to your University email address, unless due to your status this is inactive. In which case your personal email address will be used.
In complex cases the Head of Academic Services may consider it appropriate for an academic appeal application to be reviewed by the Senate Academic Appeals Committee. This decision will be at the discretion of the Head of Academic Services following assessment of a student’s individual case.
This concludes the Formal Stages of the Academic Appeal Procedure.
Review Stage: Academic Appeal Outcome Review
If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your appeal, whether this is at the end of the informal or formal process, you may request an Appeal Outcome Review under the following grounds:
- a review of the procedures followed at the formal stage if it is believed the procedures were not carried out in line with Regulations
- a consideration of whether the outcome was reasonable in all the circumstances
- new material evidence which the student was unable, for valid evidenced reasons, was unable to provide earlier in the process.
Deadline for requesting an Appeal Outcome Review
Your request must be sent within fourteen days of receiving the written outcome of your appeal to the Academic Appeals Team. This can be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org (Please put Appeal Outcome Review in the email subject box).
In the Academic Appeal review request, you must clearly demonstrate how you meet one of more of the allowed grounds. If you have no grounds under which to request an Appeal Outcome Review you may request a Completion of Procedures letter so that you may take your case to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator. To request a Completion of Procedures letter you should email the Academic Appeal Team no later than 31 days after the date on the appeal outcome letter (Please put Completion of Procedures Letter Request in the email subject box).
The Appeal Outcome Reviewer will consider the case and consult with other staff as appropriate. The outcome of the review will be communicated to the student usually within 15 working days of receiving your review request.
- The relevant procedures followed during the formal stages and whether any errors or failings made a material difference to the outcome.
- The outcome could be considered unreasonable itaking into account all the circumstances.
- Any new evidence provided by the student could have been supplied earlier in the process, and if it had been, whether it would have made a difference to the decision.
- The student received clear reasons why their complaint was not upheld.
If the Appeal Outcome Review is upheld but no agreement can be be made with the Chair of the Board of Examiners, you will usually be invited to attend a meeting of the Senate Academic Appeal Committee which will be made up of members who were not involved in the original decision.
More information on the Senate Academic Appeal Committee process can be found here.
What if I am unhappy with the Appeal Outcome Review decision?
If you remain dissatisfied and wish to pursue the matter further you could submit a complaint to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA) requesting an independent review of your case. The OIA review unresolved complaints from students about their higher education provider. Where they find that the provider has done something wrong, they can make recommendations for them to put things right. More information about making a complaint to the OIA can be found below:
How we can help?
- We can explain the appeals process
- We can help you understand if you are likely to meet the University’s grounds of appeal
- We can provide feedback on your appeal form before you submit it
- We can provide advice on the evidence required to support your appeal application
- We can discuss your options if you are unhappy with the outcome of your appeal application
More information on Appeals can also be found on the University’s Academic Appeals webpage: